Telling a 3 year old about death?

Rhian - posted on 05/19/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 years old, and i had fell pregnant with triplets.... but at 20 weeks i had lost them and had to explain to my son where my bumo had gone, i told him that his sister had gone to heaven. do u think i should have avoided the question or tell him that his sisters had passed away??? help!

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Tina - posted on 05/29/2012

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You did the right thing. Your child know they're gone somewhere. Without having to deal with grief at that age it would be a hard thing to understand.

Jennifer - posted on 05/29/2012

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So sorry to hear of your loss.

I think you did the right thing. Avoiding a child's questions, especially deep ones such as this, only serves to build upon their fears. They learn to trust you to tell them the truth in important matters and not brush them off. They don't feel brushed aside or "less than" anyone else. Kids sense when things are "off" and become worried when they don't get answers.

We have chosen to make death a fact of life for our daughter. She has, unfortunately, attended lots of visitations in her short almost-5 years. We explain that whoever it is has gone to live with Jesus and we will see them again when it is our time - way far in the future.

In fact, I had to go through this with her again this past week. Our dear friends said "Until we meet again" to their son. It was sudden and unexpected. While over at the house helping out, she observed one of the family members in tears - an adult. Later she asked - "Why was she crying? He went to live with Jesus. She'll see him agian!" What a wonderful way to look at life and death - with little fear and lots of faith. I simply explained she was hurting because she missed him.

Be prepared for questions and answer them the best you can in language he will understand. He will need time to process through it and may bring it up from time to time.

My daughter made up an imaginary friend once who passed. She grieved for about a week and a half. Then I told her it was time to let her go live with Jesus. She did. The "friend" and my child were at peace with it.

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